AgFe writes £80m Birmingham loan for Ashby

AgFe has provided an £80 million loan to Peter Ferrari’s Ashby Capital to finance its recent purchase of the Colmore Plaza office building in Birmingham.

AgFe has provided an £80 million loan to Peter Ferrari’s Ashby Capital to finance its recent purchase of the Colmore Plaza office building in Birmingham.

The loan has been written at a 60 percent loan-to-value ratio to finance Ashby’s all-cash purchase of the property from The Carlyle Group in August. The five-year facility has been provided from the AgFe UK Real Estate Senior Debt Fund, which writes floating rate loans.

Ashby’s summer purchase of the 310,000 square foot office building was Birmingham’s largest real estate deal of the year. Ashby, which invests on behalf of Middle Eastern backers, purchased Colmore Plaza as an asset management opportunity.

Colmore Plaza
Colmore Plaza

The firm has hired architect Morey Smith to assist in repositioning the asset, which has an occupancy rate of 63.4 percent. Tenants include Vodafone, Hogan Lovells, Amey and AHR. Prime office space in central Birmingham is relatively scarce and shows no sign of abating in the immediate future, Savills said this summer.

“This deal highlights our confidence in the Birmingham office market, the building itself, and in Ashby Capital’s ability to reposition it to maximise its value,” said AgFe partner James Wright.

AgFe has around £2.5 billion to deploy in the UK senior debt market across its funds. In June 2014, AgFe secured a £1 billion mandate to invest in senior commercial mortgages for retirement specialist LV. In December 2014, the firm completed a £545 million first closing of its second UK-focused commercial real estate debt fund.

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